Draft Preview: LA historically likes HS arms
Dodgers assistant GM White tends to target young pitching
The Dodgers don't draft until 28th in Monday's first round of the First-Year Player Draft and that's fine with them, considering their eye on finances and the shortage of impact players in this year's class.
They are expected to focus on a signable high school pitcher early and take some shots on high-ceiling/high-risk position players later on. It's a formula that has worked for the Dodgers' assistant GM Logan White in the past.
MLB.com will offer live coverage and analysis of the entire First-Year Player Draft from June 7-9 on MLB.com/Live. The first round and Compensation Round A will be broadcast live on MLB.com and MLB Network on Monday, June 7, beginning with the Draft preview show at 3 p.m. PT.
MLB.com Draft expert Jonathan Mayo will join Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds, John Hart, Peter Gammons and Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis on Monday's broadcast.
Coverage for rounds 2-50 will shift exclusively to MLB.com/Live. Rounds 2-30 will be streamed on Tuesday, beginning at 9 a.m., and rounds 31-50 will be streamed on Wednesday, also starting at 9 a.m. Host Pete McCarthy will be joined by Mayo and former general manager Jim Duquette.
Here's a glance at what the Dodgers have in store as the Draft approaches:
In about 50 words
The Dodgers see this Draft as thin in college players, which doesn't bother them, because they usually focus on high school talent. The Draft is deeper in high school pitching, which again is a fit with Dodgers' Draft philosophy. Bonuses are likely to be down, and nobody will be happier about that than the Dodgers.
"Where we pick (28th), we're just as likely to get a guy just as good as if we had the 10th pick. That's the kind of year it shapes up to be" -- Assistant general manager Logan White.
Look for the Dodgers to land a high school pitcher in the first round because that's what they usually do. They have no extra picks after not offering salary arbitration to Type-A free agents Randy Wolf and Orlando Hudson.
It rarely matters what the system needs are, White drafts pitching. That said, the Dodgers are thinner than they thought in the outfield after Andrew Lambo's second positive drug test and 50-game suspension.
Since taking over the Draft in 2002, White's first pick has been a pitcher seven of eight times, and a high school pitcher five times. Two of those top high school picks -- Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw -- are currently in the Dodgers' rotation, so it's hard to argue with White's strategy that he can never draft enough pitching.
Chris Withrow, 1st round, 2007: With the exception of Kershaw, the Dodgers don't allow players to soar through their farm system. They advance players methodically and prefer to keep them too long at a level than not long enough. For this system, Withrow has moved quickly, although he's been struggling this year. Because of control issues in past years, the Dodgers walk the fine line with him between pushing and not pushing too hard.
Allen Webster, 18th round, 2008: He's only 20 and he's been dominating the Midwest League for Great Lakes, and a promotion soon to High-A wouldn't be a surprise. That's pretty impressive considering that he started last season in the Arizona Rookie League. The right-handed starter is equally effective against right-handed and left-handed hitters. He allowed only one home run in his first 51 innings pitched this year.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.